The Nicolaysen Art Museum educates and enriches the community through engaging experiences in contemporary art.
The NIC features 8-10 major exhibitions each year featuring works by contemporary artists from around the region, nation and world. The museum's Discovery Center offers hands-on creativity stations for all ages as well as regular programs and educational programs. The Museum Shop at the NIC offers a wide variety of unique gift items.
The museum began collecting in 1984. At that time the focus of the collections was extremely broad. In response to the evolving mission statement of the institution, the museum has periodically revised its Collections Management Policy to define the scope of the collection in a more focused and narrow manner. From the earliest stages of the development of the collections, the museum strived to set itself apart from other museums in the region. The NIC is the only major museum in the state to focus solely on collecting and exhibiting contemporary art of the Rocky Mountain Region. The Permanent Collections are estimated to contain approximately 6,265 objects, including paintings, sculptures, textiles, drawings, photographs, prints and other works on paper. The collection is divided into two areas: the general permanent collection and special collections.
The Discovery Center at the NIC is a hands-on, interactive art-activity area for visitors of all ages. The Discovery Center is designed to encourage creativity and exploration through various activity stations and provide space for art education through classes and special programs. Check the Discovery Center calendar for programs, classes and activities.
Discovery Center Activity Stations encourage exploration of art materials and techniques; develop creative thinking, problem solving and fine motor skills. The activities aid in building of visual-spatial skills, increases pattern, shape and color recognition, promotes beginning math and language concepts while expressing creativity and having fun. Learn more here!
We believe art is what makes us human. We believe contemporary art inspires important discussion about ourselves and the world in which we all live, building community through a greater understanding and appreciation of each other. We believe art stimulates the hearts and minds of everyone who comes in contact with it because creativity is an essential element of a joyful life. Guided by these beliefs, the NIC provides every citizen in our community with the opportunity to participate in and experience the arts on a personal basis. While our primary purpose is to exhibit, collect, and conserve contemporary art, we are also a center for creativity, self-expression, and cultural dialogue, making the NIC a place where individuals can become connected to the larger community in which they live and work.
The NIC showcases and celebrates significant contemporary art through innovative art exhibitions, art education and art appreciation opportunities, helping everyone understand the role of art in our daily lives. Through these different experiences, we invite and encourage individuals to be creative and enjoy the art created by others. By providing a place for citizens to gather together to explore, learn, create, and express themselves, we sustain an environment that encourages children, families, and community members to discover art, be creative, and interact with each other through their shared arts experience. Our success in fulfilling this vision makes us a cultural anchor for our community.
Our mission is to collect, preserve, and exhibit the work of contemporary artists and present it to the community as a vital source of inspiration and education.